• TOTeM 45 – Programme

  • Authors: Philip Sharman
  • Publication date:

    September 2018


Below is an initial read-out of the key messages from TOTeM45:


  • Global growth of gas-fired power generation as complement to renewables
  • 23% of global 25,600 TWh from gas, 1.6% increase in 2017 (7.6% decrease in USA counterbalanced by 4.6% growth in rest of world – particularly China, EU, SE Asia)
  • So why reluctance for GT research support?
  • Challenges in terms of flexibility, transient response, etc.
  • Currently no real driver for CCS on GTs from industry – carbon price too low, financial case?
  • Combustion dynamics (CD) are a significant issue
  • Dual-fuel (liquid/gas) flexible systems also required
  • Different methods (e.g. axial) for ‘staged’ combustors, with strengths/weaknesses
  • Different industrial staging designs e.g. EV Burner (Alstom) , SWOZZLE (GE)
  • Swirl, vortex breakdown integral
  • GT cycles increasing temperature for efficiency -> increased NOx?
  • Near-term R&D priorities: Additive manufacture; model-based control (sensors, artificial intelligence, ‘big data’); enhanced prediction of CD

GTs for flexible power (operational and fuels flexibility):

  • How far can we get with simplified lower-order network model + flame describing function (FDF) models for CD?
  • Validation:  Encouraging/surprising!  (EM2C, Camb, Siemens, …) to date -> more experimental (optical) validation required
  • Predictability sufficient for industry purposes?
  • How to calculate FDFs ‘accurately enough’?
  • Four-step chemistry sufficient (for industry?) – to be confirmed
  • Active/feedback control?  Response time?
  • New fuels (H2, NH3) will also suffer from CD
  • Plea for industry to vocally support research funding applications in the field
  • Problems in predicting CD, even when Wobbe Index (WI) is ‘in spec’, C2+?)  ->
  • Additional combustion /fuel parameters required. What?  Methane Number?
  • OEMs have developed control systems but they are expensive – cheaper options?
  • Heading towards >20% H2 in gas grids.  Issues?
  • New burners are now designed to avoid flashback
  • ‘Permutation Entropy’ for predicting CD onset – 1s response
  • Other ‘relatively cheap’ techniques, including laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and chemiluminescence (CL), being developed for non-intrusive burner diagnostics – how much optical access practicable?

GTs for ‘storage-to-power’:

  • H2 in gas system variety of sources (syngas/CCS, green H2,…)
  • Changes required in combustion; materials/cooling; turbo
  • WI variation insufficient: what in addition?
  • New combustion systems required for high-H2 fuels?
  • Promising ‘FLOX’ (flameless combustion) system claimed capable of burning H2 with high fuel/operational flexibility and low emissions
  • What is and what isn’t FLOX?
  • Staged combustion autoignition showed operational window for high-H2 operation
  • H2 energy transportation -> case for ammonia (NH3)?
  • Established challenges for NH3: economics ; NH3 emissions; NOx; public acceptance
  • Various methods for reducing NOx recently demonstrated in Wales and Japan (RQL; humidified; operational pressures;..)
  • Existing research tools enable ammonia combustion optimisation. Needs funding to keep UK competitive

GTs for safe, decarbonised power:

  • Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) required for post-combustion CO2 capture on GTs
  • O2 will limit the degree of EGR achievable
  • Oxyfuel CCS GT promising but need turbomachinery and combustor developments
  • Oxyfuel with 1st generation burners shows good stability, but lots of challenges for development e.g. CO emissions
  • Various ways of adapting GT operation for improving CCS efficiency.  But what is the optimum combination?
  • Advanced solvents for post-combustion capture
  • System integration and whole systems analysis required
  • Social science, public perception, risk/safety for CCS
  • H2 safety still requires attention: ignition, DDT potential, …
  • How best to mitigate scenarios like flame-out, H2 jet in hot environment
  • Are H2 explosion/detonation scaling sufficient?  Geometries?

Additive manufacturing and advanced materials:

  • Considerable GT materials info, but often poorly characterised experimentally
  • ‘Open Access’ materials database proposed (by ETN?): IFRF should link and promote
  • Higher operating conditions …-> materials development needs
  • Additive layer manufacturing (ALM) is a potential ‘game changer’
  • ALM has key role for GTs in terms of enabling better thermal management and lightweighting
  • Most OEMS have active ALM programmes
  • ALM gives potential to design and manufacture high-temperature components which couldn’t be delivered with traditional techniques
  • Enables reduction of materials utilised and significant incremental efficiency improvement mitigates/eliminates cost differential with traditional techniques
  • Several examples of components built for high-end markets (e.g. F1, etc.) from likes of HEITA (eg. LT and HT HEXs, turbomachinery, fuel and combustion components
  • Up to 50% weight reduction achieved.  Metal temperatures reduced by up to 220degC, enabling turbines to run hotter
  • Could there be a role  as proposed  collective database for ALM future development?
  • Expect to see considerable development in this field, challenges include surface finishing.